An Idiot, A Superman in Training

“You must write every single day of your Life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders and sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads…May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake the world.”

– Ray Bradbury

100 posts ago, I started this blog. It all began with a promise to tell the Truth and a vow to always try to try my best.

Here we are on my 100th post, and I am writing to you for the Last Time. Around 7:00 this afternoon, I’ll be walking at graduation. I’ll be taking my Last Steps as a High Schooler and my First Steps as a college-bound seventeen-year-old. I’m happy to be walking with two kids who have been there for me ever since that fateful day in 5th Grade when I sat next to them on the bus: Jacob and Zach.

It’s an honor to walk with those two. And it’s an honor to graduate with Gull Lake’s Class of 2013. I’ll see you all on the other side.

I feel as though this blog has served it’s purpose. 100 posts comprised purely of Life as a teenager in the 21st Century.

100 posts about the Life of an Idiot.

I can’t express how much I troubled myself over what to say here. I mean, this is it. This is the Last Post. What do I want my Good-Bye to be? My Au Revoir? My “The End”?

I suppose I’ll just try to say what’s been on my mind from the very start. I’ll just try to express how important it is to Live. After all, this blog is called The Life of an Idiot. It’s all about Life and the willingness to Live it. Because the world is going to keep spinning, regardless of our desires. It’s our job as humans to take advantage of the way the world works, it’s our job to find joy in everything. The simple things, the complex ones. It’s our job to Live the Lives we want because, ignoring what we may believe about the afterlife, this is our one shot on Earth in this body. This is the only time in the history of everything that Brian Henry Wiegand will exist. So…I better make it worthwhile. I better respect the opportunities the cosmos has given me by taking advantage of them. I better go Live it up.

You know, this whole year I kept looking at things like it was “The Year of Lasts” and that it was “all over” and that this was “The End”…But it was also a Year of Firsts. And as much as it was all over, it was also just starting. As much as it was The End, it was also The Beginning. I know I have so much to look forward to. So much Life left to Live.

The best part about it all…is that as I go out into the world, I carry with me the flame of everything I gained from Gull Lake. I carry with me Coach Portis and all he taught me about hard work, I carry Coach Hawkins and all he made me realize about myself, I carry Coach Flynn and all she taught me about standing up for what I believe in, I carry Mr. Nott and all he taught me about love and imagination, I carry Jason and the Playwright and Carter White and Will Rawlings and Juror No. 8, I carry Peter Pan, I carry Superman, I carry every last one of my friends, I carry my father and all he taught me about what it really means to be a man, I carry my mother and all she taught me about this world, I carry Molly and all she taught me about growing up, and I carry my High School self…my foolish, Idiotic, goofy self.

I don’t want to drag on too much longer…I suppose I’ll wrap up with one last piece of parting advice. It comes in the form of a Sylvia Plath quote I heard Coach Hawkins read at the Senior Honors Assembly: “Everything in Life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

I’ll only say this one Last Time…Write. Go out and Live Life, then write about it. Reflect on it and uncover the Truth. Because this world is filled with absolute beauty, if you’ve got the boldness to see it and call it out.

I can only hope that this blog uncovered beauty for anyone that read it. I can only hope that…

Maybe…just maybe, it held Truths for Idiots everywhere…

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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Things evolve. They develop over time, they change. This weekend is my Last as a High Schooler. And because weekends are very precious to us in the public school system, I want to pay homage to all the weekends that I’ve experienced in the past 13 years.

See, there’s a very apparent trend in the way that weekends have adapted to our changes in interest. Back in elementary school, I remember waking up early with Molly every Saturday to watch cartoons. Both of us with a big ol’ bowl of Cap’n Crunch or Reese’s Puffs. We’d watch That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, an occasional episode of Power Rangers, Lilo & Stitch, all of that good stuff. Back then our priority was mindless entertainment. I suppose our priority is still entertainment, but we seek it in different ways.

When I was in Middle School, Saturdays were spent sleeping in. Those were the good days. The good days quickly evaporated when I reached High School. The instant Middle School was over, I said au revoir to sleeping in…even during the Summer. Summer mornings were spent at Cross Country practice. And when school started, Saturday mornings were spent at practice. But it was always worth it. I suppose I really would prefer spending time with the team as opposed to sleeping.

Nowadays, my weekends are spent trying to get out of the house. After a week of school, it’s nice to spend a night out at someone…anyone’s house. Or maybe at a movie. Or at a dance. Just as long as I’m with people. Real Life has become more entertaining than That’s So Raven or Lilo & Stitch. I suppose it always has been, it’s just taken till now to realize it.

The thing that always remained constant, though…was that the end of a weekend meant returning to school. It meant returning to Gull Lake. And now, well this is the Last Weekend where that will be the case. This is my Last Weekend as a High Schooler.

So, I tip my hat to Saturday morning cartoons and sleeping in, I tip my hat to Saturday morning practices and big bowls of Cap’n Crunch.

It’s been one heck of a ride.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Quotes

May 20, 2013

Quotes

You know, there’s something really chilling about a good quote. A nice, solid, thought-provoking line. I figure, people really enjoy good quotes. So, why not write a post about some of my favorites? Sentimental Seniors like myself eat this crap up. Don’t believe me? In AP Literature we do this thing called “Favorite Lines” where we share our favorite quotes from novels and poems we’ve read in class. There’s usually a fair amount of Seniors (myself included) quoting things like: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,/I took the one less traveled by.” How inspirational, right? And I’m not pointing any fingers, I pick some pretty cheesy lines too, like…

“The big show is inside my head.” – Kurt Vonnegut

That’s a quote from Breakfast of Champions. In context, the line is strictly speaking about one of the characters omniscient mental power over the situation at hand. The big show is literally inside his head…because he is essentially God. But I think it can be used to mean quite a bit more: That we all have the capacity to be creative and inventive. Perhaps that’s a pompous or arrogant thought. But I suppose that’s youth for you.

“One loses everything when one loses one’s sense of humor.” – Ayn Rand

From Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. I absolutely love this quote. So much so, I made it my Senior quote. I just think it’s True. Really, really True. I’m firmly of the belief that laughter is mankind’s greatest ability. That satire is the perfect way to get a point across. That comedies are the best form of entertainment. That humor is what makes us human. Also along those lines…

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Don’t we all, Kurt.

“There is no safety to be found in a sword. A sword brings death, it does not give Life.” – Zac Gorman

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I put those together because I felt like they meshed well. I wholeheartedly agree with both of them. I’m a self-pronounced pacifist and while I do agree that we should fight for what we believe in, I don’t think violence is the way to go about it. Alright, that’s enough soapbox snootiness.

“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS. So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.” – Dr. Seuss

Of course, with my Last Monday of High School come and past…Dr. Seuss is coming to mind an awful lot. Especially Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I like this quote because not only does it tell us that we’re capable of great things…but that we have to work to achieve those great things. Dr. Seuss himself is telling us all to “get on our way”.

And as a member of Gull Lake’s Class of 2013, I think I’m ready to be on my way.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

That Brief Moment

May 14, 2013

That Brief Moment

“You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming?”

Personally, I love that place. I love That Brief Moment before sleep when your mind begins to go a little wonky and the world sort of collapses. Your body feels heavy against the bed and you couldn’t move if you wanted to, not that you’d ever want to. With paralysis creeping over your limbs, you’ve never been so comfortable.

I find that in this Brief Moment, my mind sort of melts. My thoughts form this endless stream of absurdities with myself as the only sane constant. The laws of physics fall to shambles as the world spins and blackness slowly consumes my consciousness. Any flicker of thought instantly takes over my mind and manifests itself before me. It is in That Brief Moment that I can have the most vivid fantasies.

Not fantasies that I can control. I’m usually too tired to focus or to try and wrangle in the loose cattle of my mind. It runs rampant and paints whatever picture it wants for me. Usually, these visions are ones of hysteria. Everything seems heightened, exaggerated, and they only last for a few seconds before something else takes their place.

But these vivid images that take over my mind in That Brief Moment are usually…spectacular. One second, I’ll dive into an electric blue ocean, then I’ll open my eyes and find myself in a free-fall. Or maybe I’ll simply be running. Or sometimes I’m struggling to squeeze through a quickly closing gap. More often than not, however, I see myself grab someone’s hand. Someone that was just about to fall from a very high height. And I say: “Gotcha.” I don’t see my face or the person’s face, I just see our hand’s clinging.

That Brief Moment only has one flaw. It’s brevity. Couldn’t it last a few seconds longer? Isn’t there another ocean to plunge into? Another cliff to fall from? Another person to grab? But I suppose I can just look forward to the next time my body becomes filled with sand, and my brain filled with illusions.

I suppose I’ll just wait.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Everything At Once

May 1, 2013

Everything At Once

Have you ever thought about everything that’s happening, all at once?

With 7 billion people on planet earth, I think it’s fair to say that there’s usually at least one person doing just about…anything. Right now, there’s someone out there lighting the fuse on a firework. There’s someone throwing up. There’s someone eating a steak as rare as the day is long. There’s someone out there that just broke their hand or maybe their wrist. There’s someone watching The Italian Job. There’s probably even someone out there that just pulled the cord on their parachute and they’re laughing until they cry.

Isn’t that a weird thought?

Here we are, on a very average day like May 1st where maybe nothing exceptional happened to us. But there’s probably someone out there that just had the single most amazing day of their entire Lives. Or maybe there was someone out there that just had the worst. It’s all in the way the world spins. Days slip by so easily and some go unnoticed to us, but there’s always someone out there that’ll say: “I’ll forever remember January 5th, 2006.” Or: “I’ll never forget June 21st, 1986.”

And I think that’s one of the more marvelous things about the human race. That we can pick out these little moments in our Lives, our own personal fulcrums and say: “That was an important day.” And we might even celebrate it annually, out of respect. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, reunions, private mournings, memorials, remembrances…reflections. We never pass up an opportunity to mark a day as one more important than the rest.

Along this train of thought…Sometimes, if I’m not having the best of days, I like to think about the somebody out there that just got the job of their dreams or they were just proposed to or they got their acceptance letter to some Ivy League school or…Who knows? But it makes me kind of happy to know that there’s someone out there with their heart pitter-pattering and their face filled with a foolish grin. It makes me happy to know that this day was marked down in someone’s mind as the best day ever.

Just food for thought. Mindless speculation. That’s what I’m in the business of.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Goodbye, Glitter

March 29, 2013

Goodbye, Glitter

For four years now…I’ve been an MC for Gull Lake High School’s talent show: Glitter.

And I’ve loved every single year.

My Freshman Year, I was a scared little scrawny kid riding on the coat-tails of absurdly confident Seniors like John Jacobson. We did skits about Julia Childs and American Idol and…Cheerleaders.

My Sophomore Year, I was joined by one of my best friends: Jeremy. That year, there were eight MCs…And all were boys. That year, we did skits about Lumberjacks and British Men.

My Junior Year, Jeremy and I were MCs again. There was nine of us, that year. That was the year we pushed the envelope and made jokes about Jeremy being Lebanese. That was the year we had an MC Dating Game and introduced the Voice and that was the year Charmaine became the Glitter MC Coach.

My Senior Year…was an absolute blast. With seven Senior guys as the show’s MCs, I couldn’t have been happier. We had too much fun coming up with skits about Teacher House Parties and Sasquatch Hunting, about Girls Peeing and Canadian Men.

Every year came with new challenges and new excitements. Whether it was my Sophomore Year when we found ourselves without a Coach or my Senior Year where we had to…contain our outlandish behaviors, we faced difficulties. But the world of “show-biz” is basically one huge problem solving exercise…And I think, looking back over the past four years, that Glitter MCs have usually done a pretty good job of solving problems.

For four years, I’ve been an MC. For three years, I’ve MC’d with Jeremy. For two years, I’ve been Coached by Charmaine. But every year has been filled with immense amount of joy and (thankfully) laughter. Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful that, for some reason, I decided to audition my Freshman Year.

Because being a Glitter MC has always been one of my favorite parts of every year.

Because it has been a great honor to be known as: a Master of Ceremony.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Call to Arms

March 23, 2013

A Call to Arms

This upcoming Wednesday, the Performing Arts Company will hold auditions for the 2013 One Act Play Festival.

Personally, I think that the One Act Play Festival is one of the most fun and fulfilling things that a kid can do at Gull Lake High School. The plays are 100% student created. They’re directed by students (usually Seniors, like yours truly). They’re performed by students. And all of the tech is run by students.

This Monday from 2:45-4:30 in Mr. Nott’s Room, we’ll be hosting an Orientation where students who are maybe a little hesitant about auditioning can come and learn what we’re all about in the Performing Arts Company. It’s open to everyone in every grade. The Senior Directors will talk a little bit about what it’s like to audition and what the different technical crews are.

On Wednesday from 2:45-5:30 in Mr. Nott’s room, we’ll be hosting our auditions. These auditions are open to everyone in every grade and there’s no experience necessary. It’s always great to see fresh faces at auditions, so I encourage any budding thespians that may be reading this to come.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what sort of kids come audition and I can’t wait for Erica and I to find that magical trinity of cast members that will make up: The Pan Complex. The ball is beginning to roll and I’m sitting expectantly on the edge of my seat.

So, this is A Call to Arms. I’m calling out to any and all Drama kids hiding at Gull Lake, requesting that you come help make this year’s One Acts the best ever.

On a very slight side note…Glitter’s tonight. Doors open at 6:30. Show starts at 7:00. There’s still some tickets left to be sold at the door.

Fingers crossed for a successful One Acts and for a successful Glitter.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Letter From Me

March 17, 2013

A Letter From Me

Friday, Gull Lake High School finished out the 2nd Trimester. With the Seniors facing their final trimester in High School, there is a lot of talk about school ending. Heck, Spring Break’s only two weeks away and then we’ve only got a short 8 weeks left of school. Well, with all this talk of graduation, I’ve been reminded of something I’d almost completely forgotten about: Our 8th Grade letters.

At Gull Lake, every 8th Grader writes a letter to their Senior selves. At the end of this school year, the English teachers will start passing everyone’s letters back. Every envelope will contain something different. Some kids put money in theirs. Some kids put pictures. Some put unopened letters from their friends. But everyone will have a letter from their 8th Grade selves.

For the Life of me, I can’t remember what I wrote in my letter or any of the letters I wrote to my friends. I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.

Anyway, as I think about what 8th Grade Brian will tell me, I also find myself thinking about what I would tell him. If I could somehow write a response to 8th Grade Brian…What would I say? I think this is where mankind’s fear of the unknown really shows it’s true colors. See, if I said anything to 8th Grade Brian, I don’t think I would tell him to change some past event. I’m pretty happy with how things are now and I wouldn’t dare risk changing it to something unknown by telling past me not to do something…Of course, now we’re getting into the more Sci-Fi, time paradox sort of time travel, while this question was originally posed to be a mere hypothetical.

So, all time paradoxes aside, what sort of advice would you give past you? I think I’d tell 8th Grade Brian that if he didn’t Live the next four years exactly as I just did…I’d kick his butt. I’d tell him to just go with the flow because sometimes the current will be fast and sometimes the current will be slow, but all rivers lead to the ocean. I’d tell him to relax and to not be so anxious. I’d tell him that everything will work out exactly as it’s supposed to and all he can do is smile about it. I’d tell him that all anybody can ever ask of him is his best…but that he better always try to try his best.

And so, here I sit…eagerly awaiting a letter from Middle School me…wondering what sort of advice he’ll have.

I just hope 8th Grade Brian isn’t as much of an Idiot as I remember him being.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Super Powers

March 10, 2013

Super Powers

If you could have any Super Power, what would it be?

I think that’s my favorite rhetorical question to ask. It’s also a question that I entertain when I find myself struggling to fall asleep at night. If I could have any Super Power…What would it be? What would I do with that Power? Do other people have Powers in this fantasy? What Super Powers fit the personalities of my friends and family? What would they do with their Power?

If I could have any Super Power, I’d probably want to be able to fly. I realize that’s an unbearably typical answer, but I can’t get over how much fun that would be. Takin’ flight and zipping through the sky whenever you want? Not to mention how fast you’d be able to get everywhere. Well, given that you could fly quickly. How awful would it be if you were suddenly gifted with the ability to fly…but only very slowly. Like, what if someone could walk faster than you could fly? What a bummer, right?

Anyway, I’d want to fly. Because I think it would be the cat’s meow. The bee’s knees. The fish’s pajamas. But that’s not totally what this blog post is about. This is a post about Super Powers…but of a different sort.

While humans probably won’t ever develop supernatural abilities, I think we all have a sort of “Super Power.” And now we’ve arrived at the point of the blog. Let’s start with the idea that everyone is good at something. Not necessarily spectacular, not necessarily a master…but everyone is good at something. And that something requires some part of the persons body, soul, or mind. Soccer players need feet, artists need hands, mathematicians need brains, pianists need fingers…so on and so forth. And that part of them, I think, is sort of special…it’s Super. It’s not like everyone else’s.

I think that’s kind of a cool idea.

As horribly cliché as it sounds, I think it’s important to sometimes take a moment and realize how Super we all really are. We’re not just boys and girls toddling around aimlessly. We are men and women put on this Earth with these Super Powers to do great things.

And I think that is pretty darn Super.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Ourselves

March 4, 2013

Ourselves

Is it weird that the person we see the least is Ourself?

Granted, there are probably people on this planet that I’ll never see and there are people on this planet that I’ll only see once or twice. But I mean like the people that we know well. Or even the people that we only somewhat know…Maybe that should be some kind of qualification for friendship. “The point at which you’ve seen a person more than you’ve seen yourself is also the point at which you can call this person your friend.”

Perhaps I should explain what I’m talking about.

Picture an average day. How many times do you actually see yourself? Three, maybe four times? The only time you look yourself in the eye is when you’re hopping out of the shower or brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom. Even then, you’re only seeing yourself in passing.

So, let’s try to do some math (a scary thing for me to do.) Let’s say I take every day that I’ve Lived: 6,442 (as of March 4th, 2013.) Now, let’s say that every day I see myself for a total of…90 seconds? That means that I’ve seen myself for a total of 161 and a half hours. That’s not even a full week. Of the 920 weeks that I’ve Lived…not even one of them was spent viewing myself. That’s only about 0.1% of my Life.

To clarify, this is not meant to be a narcissistic post and hopefully it is not received that way. Mostly, I am merely speculating. Which is what I do here in my man cave.

Anyway…Isn’t that weird? Of all the people that we come to know on planet Earth…We see Ourselves the least.

Sometimes, and maybe this will seem unbelievably narcissistic, I hesitate before I leave the bathroom after brushing my teeth. Sometimes I take a quick second and I look at me and I think…”That’s Brian Wiegand.” And It’s almost like seeing a stranger. I’ve never seen that boy in the mirror laugh like I know he has. I’ve never seen that boy in the mirror joke like I know he has. I’ve never seen him talk. I’ve never seen him Live Life. But it’s me. It’s definitely me in the mirror.

And, really, if you really want to get into it…We never truly see Ourselves. We only see reflections. I’ll never get to truly take a look at Brian Wiegand. Not in this Lifetime.

Oh, well.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Sister Like Molly

February 27, 2013

A Sister Like Molly

Last night, my family and I went to a production of Hair at Miller Auditorium.

The treacherous, snowy roads did little to dampen our spirits as we made for a little restaurant called the Roadhouse, just five minutes from the theatre. After a quick dinner, we hurried off to see the show.

The show itself was great. I enjoyed the music and I thought the singing was really good  The play was interactive and the audience was responsive, which is always fun. The story followed that of a free-spirited tribe and their struggle with one of their numbers being drafted into the army.

The highlight of the night, however, was during the curtain call. The cast members took their bow and then started to pull audience members on stage to dance with them. Molly and I laughed as we saw Mom get pulled up. A few seconds later, another actress reached out to us across a few rows of chairs.

“Oh, boy,” Molly chuckled.

I turned to Molly and grinned. As a thespian to an artist, as a brother to a sister, I said:

“C’mon. We’re goin’ up there,” I grabbed her hand and pulled her down the aisle until we reached the stairs to the stage.

We trotted up the steps and took our place amongst the dozens of other people dancing.

“I hate you,” Molly laughed.

It was amazing. The phrase: “Too much fun” comes to mind. I felt so unbelievably unabashed, even though I’m sure my dancing was terrible enough to make the shows choreographer cry. Lights were flashing, music was playing, and a huge crowd was cheering loudly for us.

It was in that instant that I realized how lucky I am to have A Sister Like Molly.

Molly and I were like every other brother-sister pairing when we were younger. We despised each other. She still occasionally brings up the fact that I used to be a little bit of a biter. But it wasn’t too long before that attitude disappeared. In recent years, I’d say Molly is one of my closest friends. That doesn’t mean, however, that she’s not afraid to chase me around the house, pin me down, and Charley-Horse my leg whenever I tease her.

But I owe Molly some thanks for a lot more than the countless bruises she put on my leg. When I was entering High School as a Freshman, I was pretty clueless about a lot of things. It was thanks to Molly that I didn’t completely embarrass myself on multiple occasions. (For example: When I asked a girl to Homecoming.) To any parents out there with younger children, your second child’s best chance at having a successful High School career is their older sibling. The first child’s just gonna have to tough it out on their own.

Luckily, Molly is plenty tough enough to handle anything Life throws her way.

Molly is a kind, caring, funny, relatable sibling. She makes me look at countless classic siblings and smile…because I know what it feels like to have a friend like that.

I know how Ron feels about Ginny.

I know how Jem feels about Scout.

I know how Orville feels about Wilbur.

I somewhat have a slight idea about Kim’s feelings towards Kourtney.

So, while I suppose I’ve always known that I was fortunate to have A Sister Like Molly…it sometimes takes dancing on stage together in a touring Broadway show to fully realize it.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Promise

February 16, 2013

The Promise

In my very first post on this blog, I promised to tell the Truth. And I plan to uphold that Promise…Even though there are times that I’d rather not.

While I’d rather not write about my audition, I feel like if I wrote about anything else today…I’d be lying. It’s not that I’m upset about the results of the audition, I guess I’d just rather not talk about it. But I’ve got to.

Yesterday, I auditioned for Western Michigan University’s theatre program and it didn’t go so well. I didn’t make the cut for callbacks, which meant my audition journey was over before noon. I suppose there were a few hours where I wasn’t feeling totally top notch but, in general, I feel fine.

And I feel fine for one reason: I’ve got no one to blame but myself. And while it might be easier to wallow in self pity, that’s not going to do me any good. That’s not going to help me become a better person. Instead, I’m busy planning for my audition next Spring.

Maybe the fact that I’m planning to audition again makes me delusional. Maybe it means I can’t take a hint. Maybe it means I don’t have quite the grip on reality that I wish I had…But audition I must.

I’m going to do it, I’m going to audition again.

Right now, the course is illuminated before me. Go to Western. Get involved in theatre. (An option still available, despite the fact that I won’t be a Theatre Major.) And audition for the Spring semester.

What kind of Wiegand would I be if I gave up the first time I was rejected?

My Dad proposed three times before Mom said: “Yes.”

So, for now, I’m going to take that rejection letter from Western and hang it up on my wall. I’m going to hang it up as a reminder that I’ve got a lot of room to grow, and I’m willing to put in the work that will help me grow.

I suppose I wasn’t ready to come out of training just yet. I’ve got more to learn.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Most Important Thing

January 17, 2013

The Most Important Thing

I’d like to think that I’ll Live my entire Life without ever doubting myself…It’s the foolish thought of an ignorant youth in the prime of his optimistic high.

Of course I’ll experience doubts. The day I stop experiencing doubts is the day I should start doubting my sanity for not doubting anything. Most recently, I’ve been working on facing the doubt that I may be making a very, very foolish mistake with regards to studying theatre. Even though I wrote about overcoming that fear, it still remains with me…like an annoying monkey on my back.

The thing is, everyone wants to lead a successful Life, right? Everyone wants to do…something. Right? Whether they want to study science or become an artist or start a business or become the president or play basketball or maybe they just want to lay around…who knows? But all of these things are in pursuit of something greater, right? The question is: What is that something?

What is The Most Important Thing in Life? What is the end goal? What is the key to leading a successful Life? What am I trying to get here? What…? What is The Most Important Thing in Life?

What is The Most Important Thing in Life?

I hope you follow me so far. Everyone wants to do something in pursuit of what? I think I’ve said before that the answer is happiness, that it’s satisfaction…And that is sort of where the doubt creeps in. Because I’m confident that theatre is where I find my passion, it is the thing I am most enthusiastic about, it’s where I find happiness. But the thing I’m not confident about is whether or not happiness is really what Life is all about.

Well, anyway, maybe all of that should be written in the past tense…Because today I finally did something about this doubt. I decided that what I needed to know right now was: What is The Most Important Thing in Life?

So I went to four teachers at Gull Lake High School. Four teachers that I hold in only the highest of regards.

Mr. Nott.

Mrs. Jones.

Mr. Hawkins.

And Mr. Portis.

Had I the chance to ask more, I probably would’ve.

Had I the chance to ask the whole world…I would.

I approached each teacher and asked them: “What is The Most Important Thing in Life?”

And each one opened their eyes wide, let out a breath, chuckled a little, looked around, and then said something eerily similar to what the other three said…

Either there’s some secret code at Gull Lake that all teachers must answer this question similarly…Or maybe there’s a right answer.

All of them said something along the lines of: “The most important thing is to know yourself. To know who you are. And once you know who you are and you’re comfortable with it, then you must share yourself with others and help them to grow.”

Honestly, it was unbelievable how similar their answers were.

And this simple question, this simple question that I asked four times…Suddenly made me realize something.

I have no idea who I am yet.

I’m 99.9% sure that my passion lies in theatre. That it lies in the dramatic arts. But I’m only 17. What do I know? I suddenly realized that I really have to go to school for theatre. I have to. Because it’s all part of finding myself. Who knows? Maybe I’ll do a semester of theatre and say: “Well, time to take some different courses.” Or…maybe I’ll do a semester of theatre and realize that I made the right choice.

I’m going to follow the advice of four brilliant minds and work to learn more about myself. Once I know me. Once I know Brian, I’ll work to help others. Just like they told me.

Now all I have to do is decide which college I’m going to…

Oh…

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Someone Hit Fast-Forward

January 13, 2013

Someone Hit Fast-ForwardI remember when I was a Freshman.

And I can specifically remember my youthful self looking at Seniors and thinking: “Oh, I’ll never achieve that. I’ll never be that old. It’s so far away. Brian Wiegand? A Senior in High School? Preposterous!” And I can also remember wondering what it would feel like once I’d achieved that…

Well…

I feel absolutely no different. If I wasn’t consciously aware of the fact that I was a 17-year-old Senior at Gull Lake High School, it would be really, really easy for someone to convince me I was a Freshman. I suppose that’s sort of a “Duh” thing to say, but I can remember really thinking that I would feel different once I’d achieved this. I remember thinking that I’d be a completely different person.

Of course, I suppose I do have this constant nag of nostalgia…But I don’t feel like I’ve changed. Then again, I’ve been with me 100% of the time that this “change” has taken place, so maybe that’s why I don’t notice the difference. Or maybe there isn’t a difference…How am I supposed to know? It’s sort of like family reunions. Your relatives all say: “Oh, look how tall you are!” because they haven’t seen you in a year. To them, the change is huge. To you, the change doesn’t seem that immense because growth is slow and you’ve been you the whole time. You’ve experienced the change as it painstakingly took place and don’t realize how much change has taken place in a year.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that as I’ve grown older, time seems to be moving faster. (Perhaps that negates my previous point, oh well.) Sometimes, when I stop for a second to take a breath, I look around and I think: “Wait. It’s the Winter of my Senior year? That can’t be right. Cross Country is over? Over for good? Hold up…We’re in the middle of my final PAC show?! There’s 19 days until the first show? Nope. No. Wrong. Not true…It can’t be true.”

And then, when I look forward to this Summer, I’m hit with a huge bag of bricks called “Reality.” The Open Houses that I’ll be attending this year…will be for people in my grade. That definitely can’t be right. No way! It was just yesterday that I was at Freshman Orientation, right?

There are all these things that are starting to become very apparent to me. This Summer, I’ll be signing up for classes and buying books and saying good-bye to some kids I’ve grown up with my entire Life, I’ll be shopping for my dorm and preparing for College and getting ready to step out into the world…All on my own.

It is in this year, 2013, that I will leave Gull Lake High School…for the last time.

Time is going so fast. It’s like Someone Hit Fast-Forward.

But it’s all part of Life, isn’t it? Growing up is just part of Life and it’ll happen whether I want it to or not. Best thing I can do is be happy with it. Be happy that I’ve been fortunate enough to make it this far and that I’ve gotten into College and that I’ll actually be able to go to College.

As J.M. Barrie said: “All children, except one, grow up.” Last time I checked, I’m not Peter Pan…

So, it looks like I better get used to the idea.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Life of an Idiot Crest

As the year comes to a conclusion, it is wise to reflect on the past 365 days and how they have changed you.

I chose a lyric from the Mumford & Sons’ song Babel to title this post because I think it ties in well with my last year.

I don’t think I’ve ever lived a year better spent in love. Spent, of course, could have multiple meanings in this context. “Spent” as in I’ve lived in it. Or “spent” as in I’ve given it away, I’ve paid with it. And I think I can relate to both meanings.

This time last year, PAC was getting underway and I was participating in the last year of Mr. Nott. We were working on a show written by Mr. Nott entitled Dune Shadow and I’d been blessed with the opportunity to play Will. The season was spent surrounded by people who I truly cared deeply about. Friends who I still cling to today. That season, we didn’t make it past Regionals…but it was also the season that we made a trip to Saugatuck and performed the show for the schools there because it was local history. In that same day, we visited the actual ruins of Singapore, the setting of our story. It’s a shame that Mr. Nott had to retire from being PAC Director, but I’m glad that I was there to experience his last year.

As Dune Shadow ended, Track and Glitter began. And it wasn’t long until One Act auditions were being held. My third year as an MC for the High School talent show, Glitter, was spent with a group of people I wouldn’t trade for the world. Just thinking about the fun we had makes me feel all giddy. There’s really nothing like being on stage. Especially if it’s in the casual, goofy sense that surrounds Glitter MCing.

Track, of course, is not Cross Country. But what’s important is the people. And the people stay the same. Last Spring marked my fifth year running Track (if you count Middle School, which I probably shouldn’t.) It was filled, as always, with runners that I felt a deep connection with….See, it’s pretty hard to avoid becoming friends with the people who get to see you at your lowest moments. When a hard workout is close to being finished and I’m about to pass out and Jeremy or Sam or Nic or Willie or anyone comes up to me, pats me on the back, and says: “Almost done” that forms a indescribable bond. A true friend is there for your lows just as much as your highs.

One Acts were, as always, a blessing. The fact that I get to do One Acts at all stems from Coach Portis and his generosity in letting me do both One Acts and Track. Thanks to him, I got to play Carter White in Door to Door and I was given the chance to meet Jossie. Jossie played Stephanie, the only other character in our play. Another amazing thing about Coach Portis is that he comes every year to watch the performances. After our show, I went and sat next to him to thank him for letting me do this and I still remember what he told me: “Brian, it looked like you we’re having a lot of fun up there. I’m glad that I can let you do something that brings you so much joy. Good job.”

And then school ended. And Summer came. And Summer was filled with Cross Country and Carly. And this is really where I’d never felt so loved. That Summer was a balancing act as I tried to spend as much time as I could with the Cross Country Team and Carly. But it didn’t really matter how much time I spent with either because I knew it would never be enough. Eventually, Summer would end. Eventually, Carly would go off to Interlochen and the Cross Country season would conclude…at the same time, though, I was going to try and embrace every second I spent in the grace of those who I loved and loved me.

Sadly, Carly did leave.

Sadly, Cross Country did end.

“I’ll see you later.” I told Carly.

“Seniors, this’ll be your last race ever with me as your head Coach. It’s been an honor.” Coach Portis said.

Both occasions were bittersweet.

Of course, now we’re almost caught up with the present. This PAC season is barely underway but I’ve enjoyed the few rehearsals we’ve had so far and I’m excited to play Juror No. 8. Once break is over, we’ll be back at the ol’ grind, working hard to make the play the best it can be.

I suppose there’s only one last thing to talk about…and that’s this blog. And this blog has helped me with thanking those who’ve helped fill this last year with love. And I can’t help but realize that I owe everyone who surrounds me all the kindness they deserve for making 2012 one of the best years ever…because I’ve Never Lived a Year Better Spent in Love.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)